Unizik pedestrian bridge taken over by hawkers, beggars

The pedestrian bridge at the UNIZIK Temporary site junction in Awka has been taken over by hawkers and beggars.

This is coming against incessant warning from the state government. The Pedestrian Bridge construction was initiated during Senator Chris Ngige’s stint but constructed by then Governor Peter Obi led administration to reduce the rate of accidents on that axis of the Enugu-Onitsha expressway.

Hawkers and other types of traders now brazenly display their wares and engage in competition for buyers’ attention, while in the process hampering free flow of human traffic along the bridge.

Both on the staircase of the bridge and even under it, different items such as clothes, fruits, belts, shoe polish, food, snacks, and soft drinks are on display.

Giving his experience at the pedestrian bridge, Mr. Chinedu Etula, said crossing the pedestrian bridge has become challenging most especially during the evening hours due to over flooded trading activities on the bridge and appealed to the State Government to ensure that the enforcement team take up the responsibility of preventing the traders from the bridge in order to restore the pedestrian bridge to the purpose it was constructed.
For Mr Izunna Okafor serious attention should be given to the pedestrian bridge to ensure it does not become a hangout for hoodlums to indulge in all kinds of crimes.

When approached, some of the traders who displayed their wares on the bridge hide their faces from the camera and said that they were tired of being interviewed by the press about their sufferings.

They, however expressed their willingness to leave the bridge if the Government will assist them find affordable alternatives that will enable them meet up with their family and personal responsibilities.

When contacted, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Awka Capital Territory Development Authority, Venerable Amaechi Okwuisa recalled the dangers that faced pedestrians on the road

before the intervention of the state government through the construction of the pedestrian bridge and installation of barricades to ensure that people use the bridge.

He stated that the agency has been working tirelessly to put a stop to the business activities going on at the pedestrian bridge.

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